Jan
21

The Tough Part Of Representing Football Players

Along with all of the money, fame, and glory of representing those who go out and give it their all for 60 minutes every Sunday comes a lifetime of pain and agony for some of those who were once professional NFL players.

USAToday has a great piece on former Chicago Bear standout, Doug Plank, who used to play through many concussions, has gone through 5 knee surgeries, and currently has spinal stenosis [A walk down the Plank: The high cost of playing in the NFL].

As an agent, not only do you have the responsibility to counsel your football client every week that he lays it all on the line, but you should feel obligated to go along for the ride once his professional football career is over. Doug Plank has had a successful post-NFL life. He has owned 13 Burger Kings and now coaches a team in the Arena Football League. Not all players are so lucky.

My point is that there are many players who suffer after their days of playing professional sports are over. The extreme cases come in the form of being paralyzed or having extremely damaged brain tissue (ex: Andre Waters). Instead of forgetting about our clients once they are through providing us with the big-time commissions, we should uphold our fiduciary duty and aim to protect them for their entire life. Along with the huge rewards that follow with representing football players sometimes comes the tough reality of what we all have to deal with once their careers come to an end.

I hope that we all are able to witness 2 excellent conference championships and that the games end with all rosters having healthy players.

-Darren Heitner